I managed — finally — to get going on the sewing projects that I previewed for y’all way back when, and even have an F.O. to show for it.

This is the Hot Patterns Plain and Simple Essential Shift Dress and Top (HP 1136). I wanted to make a wearable muslin, and used a length of natural white handkerchief linen sent to me by Neki. A bit of cognitive dissonance and operator error on my part notwithstanding, it was a doddle to make up.

Hot Patterns are sized as ready-to-wear, and their pattern envelopes come with exhaustive information about measurements, which makes getting your correct size easy. Unless you’re me and you decide to make a size (18) that doesn’t correspond to your measurements (20). Mind you, I had my reasons — I didn’t want too much ease in the top, because I’ve been wearing my clothes a little closer to the body of late. As it turned out, making the correct size would have ended up with a reasonable amount of ease. Lesson learned.

I also arsed up the armscye by mistracing the front — so I ended up with something that’s a wee bit too narrow in the shoulders. That was operator error, pure and simple, and when I retrace the pattern in the size I should have made in the first place, I’ll know to be more careful.

This pattern is beautifully drafted, with touches that make for a very good-looking garment. It has two-piece sleeves and a hem facing, both of which mean a little extra sewing, but are well worth it in the long run. (Note: I didn’t make the top with a hem facing, and I should have. The dress version will have one.) The directions are also fairly straightforward, especially if this isn’t your first sewing rodeo.

Because the linen I was working with was both sheer and ravel-y, I decided to use French seams for the visible bits in the front, back, and sleeves. It’s a bit more complicated than an ordinary seam, but since you can see it, I thought it was worth the effort. I then took Trudy’s very good advice and topstitched along those same seams. It’s a design element that makes the top look really modern and interesting.

All in all, I’m pleased with the way the top turned out. I hope SistahRubi is, too, since I’ll be sending this off to her. (I hope it fits HER “linebacker” shoulders!) If Neki can source me another bit of the same linen (hint, hint), I’ll be making a version that fits for myself very soon!

Lagniappe-kins! (har-har)

The bonus F.O. in this post is a batch of four napkins I whipped up yesterday out of a length of Kaffe Fassett “Millefiore” fabric. I love the turkey red and turquoise contrast, and I’m seriously contemplating buying a bit more to make up this same top. Would look good with the skully necklace, don’t you think?